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F.5.ii.2. Overviews of Regional and National Movements

Feminicide: A Global Phenomenon. From Brussels to El Salvador, Brussels, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Report, 2015, pp. 39

Edited every two years on the occasion of the European Union and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (EU-CELAC) Summit, this fifth edition of the series ‘Feminicide: A Global Phenomenon’ addresses the chapter on gender from the Action Plan, and points to other initiatives aiming at eradicating feminicide/femicide, and also inspiring the implementation of the Action Plan EU-CELAC on this matter.

Take Five: Fighting femicide in Latin America, UN Women, 2017

Discusses the deadly forms of violence against women in Latin America, developments since the launching of the Latin America Model Protocol in 2014 by UN Women and the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and the most recent updates on the legislation by Latin American countries.

To access the last Survey on gender-based violence in Latin America, please see

Thomson Reuters Foundation’s survey on the 10 most dangerous countries for women in 2018, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 2018

The survey reports on the worst countries in the world for women in terms of health (e.g. maternal mortality, lack of access to health care facilities, lack of control over reproductive rights); discrimination (e.g. over land rights, job rights, property or inheritance); culture and religion (e.g. acid attacks, FGM, forced marriages); sexual violence (e.g. Rape, rape as a weapon of war, domestic rape or by a stranger); non-sexual violence (e.g. domestic violence); and human trafficking (including domestic servitude, forced labour, sexual slavery and forced marriage). The methodology is outlined and each listed country is fully described in each of the categories explored by the survey.

World Facing ‘Moment of Opportunity’ to End Violence against Women, Third Committee Hears amid Calls for Gender Equality in Politics, UN General Assembly Report, 2018

The Third Committee’s (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) report on the advancement of women worldwide. The Third Committee had before it the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (document A/73/38). Also before the Committee were reports of the Secretary-General on Trafficking in women and girls (document A/73/263); intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation (document A/73/266); intensifying efforts to end obstetric fistula within a generation (document A/73/285) and intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls (document A/73/294). The Committee also had before it a report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences on violence against women in politics (document A/73/301).

Across Latin America, women fight back against violence in politics, UN Women, 2018

Reports on how women in Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras and Mexico who are willing to hold public offices experience violence and do react against intimidation.

Relevant document on political violence against women for each of these countries can be found below.

International: INCLUDE PDF;

Bolivia: (Spanish). For further readings, please see

Brazil: (Portuguese)


Saudi Women: Fatwa is a feminist issue: Female Islamic scholars are demanding equality, Economist, 14/07/2018,

Brief overview on the recent rise in feminist activity, on the advances of women in jobs and their role within the judiciary. It focuses especially on the new role for women religious scholars. 

Turning Promises Into Action. Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2018

The Report examines through a gender-lens perspective the progress and challenges that are needed to be implemented in order to achieve all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls, European Commission, 2019

Fact sheet providing information about Spotlight - a global campaign in joint partnership between the EU and UN - to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in South East Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Pacific and Caribbean region. The initiative aims to contribute to the achievement of SGD Goal 5 on Gender Equality and SDG Goal 16 on inclusive and peaceful societies. It provides information on the EU’s Gender Action Plan 2016-202 0 and UNFPA ( and the surveys conducted to shed light on this form of violence.

Spotlight’s official website can be accessed at

Our territory, our body, our sprit: indigenous women unite in historic march in Brazil, Amazon Frontlines, 14/08/2019,

As part of the indigenous movement across the Amazon, thousands of indigenous women demonstrated in Brazil’s capital city in August 2019, joining the first Indigenous Women’s March. Carrying banners with the slogan “Territory: our body, our spirit”, women took to the streets to make their voices heard and to denounce the policies of Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, which have set the stage for escalating violations of indigenous rights, racism, violence and the most alarming Amazon deforestation rates in recent memory.

Afolayan, Gbenga, Hausa-Fulani women's movement and womanhood, Agenda, Vol. 33, issue 2, 2019, pp. 52-60

This article examines how women’s organisations have attempted to ensure compliance for Hausa-Fulani women with the Minimum Age of Marriage Clause of Nigerian Child Rights Act of 2003, in a context of plural legal systems and traditional norms, which make achieving gender equality difficult. The authors focus on this issue in the context of feminist attempts in Nigeria since the 1980s to reconstruct the concept of ‘the feminine’. This reconstruction is especially important in struggling against patriarchy and local interpretations of Islam in northern Nigeria.

Aktar, Solnara, Transnational feminism and women’s activism: Strategies for engagement and empowerment in Bangladesh, Asian Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 25, issue 2, 2019, pp. 285-294

This article aims to review the strategic experience of individuals and human rights organizations for human rights, women's rights, gender equality and social justice in Bangladesh. Following an empirical research methodology, this article has been written on the four themes: education, engagement, empowerment, and advocacy. The organizations were selected because of their creative concepts, innovative approaches, achievements and impact on the public. The study focuses on how the “Unite for Body Rights” program provides education related to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR); how men from local community engage themselves in promoting gender equality and social justice; how “acid survivors” transform themselves into “survivor ambassadors” and empower themselves as women’s rights activists; and how the five leading human rights organizations in Bangladesh contributed to “banning the ‘two-finger test’ on rape survivors.”

Al-Rasheed, Madawi, Finally Saudi women can travel solo – but progress is still fragile, Guardian Weekly, 09/08/2019,

This article assesses women’s progress in Saudi Arabia since the lifting of the driving ban in 2018, and reports on the official decision to grant women passports to travel abroad without a male guardian’s consent. This is a step towards reversing the deprivation of women’s legal, political and human rights unique to Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi version of Islam as interpreted by conservative clerics.  But women still cannot marry, or leave domestic violence shelters or prison without a male relative’s consent.  Moreover, Al Rasheed notes, prominent feminist activists had been imprisoned.  However, Saudi feminists are still discreetly and effectively engaging within civil society to help women.

See also ‘Women in Saudi Arabia: Changing the Guard’, Economist, 20 July 2019, p.42.

Reports official plans to lift some restrictions on women, but also notes fears that a right to travel would increase the number of women fleeing abroad and seeking asylum.  The article contextualises possible reforms to free women in the conflicting politics of liberalisation and repression being practised by the Crown Prince.

Ashiraliev, Elmurat, Feminism through pictures: how girls of south Kyrgyzstan fight for women’s rights, Voices On Central Asia, 01/02/2018,

Gives account through pictures and captions of the history and activities of ‘New Rhythm’, a small feminist group in Kyrgyzstan that is raising awareness over many problems the women of the county face, such as domestic violence, early marriage, sexism, and the lack of encouragement to young women to pursue higher education.

Bettinger-Lopez, Caroline, Codifying #MeToo into International Law, Council on Foreign Relations, 24/01/2019,

A report on the initiative by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to create the first legally binding international treaty on violence and harassment in the field of work. The Convention – whose proposed title is ‘Convention and Recommendations Concerning the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work’ – has so far received support from ILO member governments, various NGOs and employers and it was scheduled to be discussed in the Summer 2019. It will aim at addressing normative gaps in law and policy in countries or situations where there is no legal provision on sexual harassment in employment. The aim is that ratifying countries will prevent and address harassment through strengthening enforcing mechanisms and ensuring remedies for victims, and by acknowledging the costs of violence and harassment in the workplace. An important step is that the Convention focuses on addressing the needs of all women, including average-wage and low-wage workers.

Branigan, Claire ; Palmeiro, Cecilia, Women strike in Latin America and beyond, NACLA Report on the Americas, 08/03/2018,

In-depth account of the organisation of #NiUnaMenos and the 2018 International Women’s Strike, elucidating how the strike became a decisive moment in the history of Argentina’s and Latin America’s feminist revolutions. The authors note the importance of the region as a laboratory for the imposition of high impact neoliberal economic policies. The process by which IWS has become successful is based on radicalization by mass mobilisation and inclusion and aims never to isolate sexual violence from the very complex entwinement of capitalism and machista violences (macho culture) that lies at the core of the capitalist system.

Bullock, Julia ; Kano, Ayako ; Welker, James, Rethinking Japanese Feminisms, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 2018, pp. 288

This book draws on a wide range of academic disciplines to present the very diverse nature of feminist thought and activism in Japan since the early 20th century. It covers employment, education, literature and the arts, as well as feminist protests and initiatives. The book includes ideas and approaches adopted by a range of cultural and socio-political groups that have not bee labeled feminist, but which have promoted ideas and values close to feminism. It also examines important aspects of feminist history to challenge the mainstream interpretation of them.

Bundela, Sanjay, The Role and Impact of NGOs in non-violent protest against Women Harassment in India, IJRAR- International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews, 2017, pp. 117-121

This work examines the role of NGOs in protest against violence and harassment against women. The aim is to show that women are not just victims, but also rational actors, and to inspire courageous and nonviolent responses to harassment.

Cuthbert, Olivia, A new chapter for feminism in Jordan, OpenDemocracy, 03/04/2017,

Explores the rise of feminism and feminist activism in Jordan following December 2016, when women's rights activists protest in front of Parliament in Amman, Jordan calling for an end to violence against women.

See also

Donovan, Louise ; Asquith, Christina, El Salvador kills women as the US shrugs, Foreign Policy, 07/03/2019,

In El Salvador, hundreds of women marched in the capital San Salvador on this day, to protest for reproductive rights, against violence, and in celebration of the release of three women jailed on abortion charges. The article also discusses the Trump administration’s cut of funding towards programs that support women and the initiative to tackle violence against women that exists in El Salvador.

Donovan, Louise ; Asquith, Christina, El Salvador kills women as the US shrugs, Foreign Policy, 07/03/2019,

In El Salvador, hundreds of women marched in the capital San Salvador on this day, to protest for reproductive rights, against violence, and in celebration of the release of three women jailed on abortion charges. The article also discusses the Trump administration’s cut of funding towards programs that support women and the initiative to tackle violence against women that exists in El Salvador.

ElHajjaji, Chouhaib, Feminism in Tunisia: brutal hijacking, elitism and exclusion, OpenDemocracy, 14/09/2018,

Explores how the feminist movement in Tunisia has been a victim of brutal hijacking, exploitation, and politicization, which has fragmented its foundation.

Evans, Harriet, Chinese feminism beyond borders: past, present and future, WAGIC – Women and Gender in China, 04/09/2017,

Professor of Chinese Studies Harriet Evans analyses the development of feminist activism in comparison with feminism in the UK. Drawing on the idea of sexual and gender rights, she also makes a comparison with the LGBTQ community and its global organisational activism since the 1990s.

Hartman, Laura, “Los my poes af” – the fine line between being radical enough and being too radical, Agenda, Vol. 33, issue 2, 2019, pp. 74-83

The author explores how women’s organisations in South Africa are often constrained in demanding their rights, or protesting in the streets, by their links to governments, political parties or international charities. Not only do these organisations need financial backing, but they are also expected to maintain a professional profile. She illuminates this dilemma by studying organisations in the Cape Flat of Cape Town, mostly run by black and coloured women struggling against increasing crime and violence against women and children.

HongFincher, Leta, Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China (Asian Arguments), London and New York, ZedBooks, 2014, pp. 213

This book discusses the popular myth that women have fared well as a result of post-socialist China's economic reforms and breakneck growth. It lays out the structural discrimination against women in China and speaks of the broader problems within China's economy, politics, and development.

See also ‘Talking policy: Leta Hong Fincher on feminism in China’, World Policy, 2 June 2017, where Leta Hong discusses her book Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China and the development of feminism in china from the post-socialist era up to these days.

Jiang, Zhiduang, The sleeping feminism awareness in China – Through the case study of Girls’ Day and Women’s Day, Vol. Master's Degree, Lund, Lund University, 2017

Explains how Chinese women understand their identities and feminism in the new media age and how, as Jiang argues, they present and shape ideas about feminism and gender issues in the current socio-political context.

Khamis, Sahar ; Amel, Mili, Arab Women's Activism and Socio-Political Transformation, Cham, Switzerland, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp. 288

This book illustrates how Arab women have been engaging in ongoing, parallel struggles before, during, and after the Arab Spring. It focuses on three levels: 1) the political struggle to pave the way to democracy, freedom, and reform; 2) the social struggle to achieve gender equality and combat all forms of injustice and discrimination against women; and 3) the legal struggle to chart new laws which can safeguard both the political and the social gains. The contributors argue that while the political upheavals often had a more dramatic impact, they should not overshadow the parallel social and legal revolutions, which are equally important, due to their long-term impacts on the region. The chapters shed light on the intersections, overlaps and divergences between these gendered struggles and unpacks their complexities and multiple implications, locally, regionally, and internationally.

Koo, Eunjung, Women’s subordination in Confucian culture: Shifting breadwinner practices, Asian Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 25, issue 3, 2019, pp. 417-436

By tracing everyday breadwinner practices from the early industrial period to the democratic period (largely between 1960s and 2000s) in Korea, and by observing that the Confucian hierarchy of male supremacy continued into the early industrial period, despite the significant contributions of women to earning a living for their families, this study illustrates the changes in dynamics relating to women’s subordination.

Lenser, Amber, The South African Women's Movement: The Roles of Feminism and Multiracial Cooperation in the Struggle for Women's Rights, Vol. Master of Arts in History, Frayetteville, University of Arkansas, 2019, pp. 101

The author argues that the historical preoccupation with the anti-apartheid struggle, which has also focused on the role of men as agents of change, has obscured both the role of women from all races and classes who joined in the national struggle, and women’s campaigning for their own rights. She uses oral histories, South African newspaper reports and materials from organisations such as the Black Sash to show women’s influence on legislation passed under and immediately after apartheid. She also notes how women created their own political spaces and, at times, transcended race and class divides.

Maine, Emilie, The evolution of feminism in China. Media and Chinese feminists, Maine Ethics, 05/10/2017,

It explores the development of feminism in different historical periods: during the New Socialist China (1949-1965); feminism in the Cultural Revolution (1966- 1999); and feminism in contemporary China (2000-2017).

See also

Mylene, Veronica ; Evangelista, Meggan, Feminism and the womens' movement in the Philippines, Pasig City, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2018, pp. 27

Explores the struggles of women during different historical events and political regimes in the Philippines, including during the Spanish colonization, Marcos dictatorship, and the current challenges under the administration of President Duterte. The study hopes to enhance conversations and possibilities for collaboration among new generation of feminists and experienced women activists at the national and global fronts.

See also: Gabriel, Arneil G. (2017) “Indigenous women and the law: The consciousness of marginalized women in the Philippines”, Asian Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 250-263 and

Núñez, Sonia, Femen in the current Spanish political context: feminist activism and counterhegemonic modes of representation, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Vol. 19, issue 1, 2018, pp. 111-126

This article addresses Femen’s media-based activism in Spain. It examines the lack of understanding of Femen’s activist methods among mainstream feminists and broader debates in the current Spanish political context.

Oinas, Elina ; Onodera, Henri ; Suurpää, Leena, What politics? Youth And Political Engagement In South Africa, Leiden and Boston, Brill, 2018, pp. 345

This book examines the diverse experiences of being young in today’s Africa. It offers new perspectives on the roles and positions young people take to change their conditions both within and beyond the formal political structures and institutions. The contributors represent several social science disciplines, and analyse critically dominant discourses of youth, politics and ideology. Despite focusing on Africa, the book is a collective effort to understand what it is like to be young today, and what working for change means in personal and political terms.

Paley, Dawn ; Weiss, Laura, Women Rising in the Americas, NACLA Report on the Americas, Vol. 50, issue 4, 2018

Introduction to the December 2018 issue, which presents, amongst other topics, essays and articles on the daily resistance against anti-Black state violence in Brazil; the demonstration of women wearing green handkerchiefs and claiming spaces in Argentina; the role of Ixil women in rebuilding communal structures post-genocide; the searches for the disappeared in Mexico; women’s struggle against oil exploitation; the organisation of LGBTI+ community members’ forms of resistance for immigrant justice; and the revisitation of the #NiUnaMenos movement.

Pannier, Bruce ; Tahir, Muhammad, Majlis Podcast: a new wave of feminism in Central Asia, RadioFreeEurope, 23/09/2018,

Gives an account on the debate in Kyrgyzstan, and more generally in Central Asia, about women's rights and the role of women in contemporary Central Asian societies. Provides link to videos and podcast debating the issue. 

Sener, Bahar, The rise of feminism in south Korea, The Perspective, 15/04/2019,

Briefly explores the development of the feminist movement in South Korea in response to the country’s sexism, which is pervading different aspects of society.

See also and

Shen, Yifei, Feminism in China. An analysis of advocates, debates, and strategies, Shanghai, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 2017, pp. 25

This study looks at feminism in China over the last century and reveals that feminist movements and arguments at most times have been linked to the nation’s development. Independent and mass feminist movements like those in the West never developed in China. By taking a look at the realities of women and their images in contemporary China, the study shows that feminism in the People’s Republic of China has still plenty of room for development.

See also Menke Augustine, (2017) ‘The development of feminism in China’, Undergraduate Thesis and Professional Papers, pp. 20.

Simga, Hulya ; Goker, Gulru, Whither feminist alliance? Secular feminists and Islamist women in Turkey, Asian Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 23, issue 3, 2017, pp. 273-293

Inquires into the viability of an alliance between secular feminists and Islamists through the proliferation of deliberative platforms, where civil society organizations can meet at a safe distance from partisan politics and enter productive dialogue and generate policies to resolve the crucial problems women are facing in Turkey.

Sohela, Nazneen, The women's movement in Bangladesh, Banani, Dhaka, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2017, pp. 24

An exploration of the history of the women’s movement in Bangladesh, its achievements and the internal and external challenges for a sustainable movement it faces. The author weaves in broader historical changes and discusses the nature of the current political context and its impact on the feminist movement in Bangladesh.

Svetlova, Ksenia, Rising from ashes of Arab Spring, women lead a first Muslim feminist revolution, Times of Israel, 28/07/2019,

Highlights important challenges that women face in the Kurdish part of Syria; Tunisia; Morocco; Egypt; and the Persian Gulf in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

UNDP, From Commitment to Action: Policies to End Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, Panama, UNDP and UN Women, 2017, pp. 85

The report identifies the progress made by institutional approaches to tackling violence against women in the region. It also presents examples in some states in the areas of prevention, care, punishment, and reparation for violence against women and provides recommendations to address the obstacles that prevent the full implementation of measures tackling violence against women in the Latin America. It provides an important resource for many countries in the process of formulating, implementing and evaluating their own public policies and plans.

Volgestein, Rachel, Eliminating violence against women, Council on Foreign Relations, 28/11/2017,

On the week marking the United Nations Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Council on Foreign Relations published a link featuring six publications from the Women and Foreign Policy Program. The publications are:

-       CFR Discussion Paper: Countering Sexual Violence in Conflict (Include PDF);

-       ‘Sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the workplace’ (;

-       ‘Rape as a tactic of terror’ ( inclusive of a discussion with human rights activist, Yazidi survivor to ISIS’ sexual slavery and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nadia Murad. The link provides both the video and its script);

-       ‘The economic costs of violence against women’ (;

-       ‘Ending gender-based violence in conflict’ (;

-       ‘Addressing gender-based violence in peace agreements’ (Link not retrievable).

Wadhwa, tanya, Massive mobilizations against femicides across Latina America and Caribbean, Peoplesdispacth, 09/02/2019,

Reports on three major Latin American countries, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico that witnessed mobilizations against femicide and gender-based crimes in February 2019 comments also on the social and human rights organisations that are demonstrating against gender-based violence.